Posted on July 20, 2020

‘Do We Name Fort Bragg After Rev Al Sharpton?’ Trump Says He May Veto Renaming of Military Bases Honoring Confederate Generals

RT, July 19, 2020

US President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the National Defense Authorization Act over the proposed purge of military base names that honor Confederate figures, telling Fox News, “Yeah, I might.”

Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Trump told anchor Chris Wallace that renaming bases wouldn’t go down well. “Go to the community, say, ‘How do you like the idea of renaming Fort Bragg, and then what are we going to name it?’ And ‘We’re going to name it after the Reverend Al Sharpton’?” he said, referring to the black civil rights activist and minister.

Renaming Confederate-honoring military installations is part of the provisions and recommendations contained in Congress’s annual defense authorization bill, the NDAA. It was included in response to the Black Lives Matter protests that erupted across the country after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.

Trump told Wallace that the Confederate flag was not a race issue, as “when people proudly have their Confederate flags, they’re not talking about racism. They love their flag – it represents the South.”

The Confederate provision was added to both the House and the Senate’s versions of the NDAA bills. The Senate addition was introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and passed in the Republican-led Senate Armed Services Committee, while the House provision was a bipartisan addition by Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md) and Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb).

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken) and top House Republican Kevin McCarthy (R-Cal) were among those Republicans who said they wouldn’t oppose the idea. Trump’s first threat of a veto was also met with apathy from many Republican politicians.